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Grads4Nottm scheme returns to boost graduate retention

Thirty businesses from Nottinghamshire have put their challenges to students as the annual Grads4Nottm scheme returns.

Around 100 students from Nottingham Trent University will spend two weeks working with local businesses of all sizes, gaining valuable work experience whilst solving business challenges.

Companies including Boots UK, Yu Energy and local SMEs have been partnered with teams of students who will work on challenges ranging from web design, project management and brand campaigns, to animation, retail sales and product development.

The programme, which runs from 12 – 23 June aims to boost the number of graduates staying in the county for employment.

Deborah Garlick, Director of Henpicked, an online community for women over 40, is participating in the scheme for the first time.

Her business helps thousands of women through online advice and articles, on subjects such as money, happiness and health including menopause.

She said: “After attending the Grads4Nottm presentations last year I was very impressed with the innovative ideas the students came up with in such a short period of time.

“I’m looking forward to working with the students and seeing how they can help benefit our business with work on our latest campaign.”

Kinetik Fitness – a participant from 2016 – will return again this year after students helped them launch their first gym in the city, saving £10,000 in design fees.

Ali West, co-founder of Kinetik Fitness, said of the challenge: “The students were really professional and brought some fresh ideas into the design. We were amazed with the work they delivered over the course of two weeks. At the end, we were so impressed that we took their designs to our contractors.”

Employers were paired with students at an official launch event on 12 June at the university.

In 2016, the scheme was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative.

Amy Underwood, Business Development Coordinator at Nottingham Trent University, said: “We are really excited to be running Grads4Nottm for the fourth time. The scheme gives a unique opportunity to showcase the roles and organisations Nottingham has to offer, and allows students and graduates to demonstrate the skills they have developed at university through a number of real-life business challenges.”

This year’s employer kick-off event was an opportunity for the employers to network and prepare for meeting their students on Monday and was held at Revolucion de Cuba, who donated prizes for students and employers.

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